Woyome Saga: Top US Lawyer Lauds Ruling...Predicts Appeal Will Fail

While deputy Attorney General, Dr Dominic Ayine; Managing Editor of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako and many others are questioning the rational in the acquittal and discharge of businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome by an Accra Fast Track High Court, a senior United State of America attorney and former Reagan administration official has applauded the judgment.

Mr J. Michael Farrell, who is a former campaign Manager of America’s 40th President, Ronald Reagan, and now Board Chairman of the US Air Force Academy, described Justice John Najet-Nasam’s judgment in the controversial GHS51m judgment debt as “detailed and well-reasoned.”

In an email to the former Honorary Consul of Austria to Ghana, Mr Woyome, and gleaned by The aL-hAJJ, Mr Michael Farrell sided with former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Right and Administration, Justice Emile Short and the others who thought the AG’s decision to appeal the decision of Fast Track High Court would yield to naught.

While congratulating the business magnate and his legal team, Mr Michael Farrell, who was Campaign Manager for President Ronald Reagan and also Chairman for the Panama Canal Committee and Deputy Chief of Staff during part of President Bush’s (Snr) regime, said the prosecution’s case against Mr Woyome was driven by politics, adding an appeal was unsustainable.

“…Please inform Alfred that I congratulate him and his entire team for defending this obviously unjust action. The prosecution apparently was politically motivated. The decision of the court is detailed and well-reasoned, as such; an appeal by the attorney general will be a waste of government assets,” Mr Michael Farrell wrote.

Mr. Farrell specializes in international arbitration proceedings before the International Court of Arbitration as operated by the International Chamber of Commerce, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law and the American Arbitration Association. He advises clients on the local and international laws involved in projects in emerging markets and negotiates on the client’s behalf before the various governmental national, regional and local regulatory authorities along with the government-to-government protocols.

The international investment and finance programs involve complex negotiation with private investors, investment bankers, the International Finance Corporation, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Export-Import Bank of the United States and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.

Justice John Ajet-Nasam last week acquitted and discharged Mr Woyome on two counts of causing financial loss to the state and defrauding by false pretense after a protracted legal battle at the Accra Fast Truck High Court involving the payment of a GHS51m judgment debt by the Mills administration.

The presiding judge in his ruling said the prosecution failed to prove beyond every reasonable doubt that Mr Alfred Woyome indeed defrauded the state by false pretense and willfully caused financial loss to the state.

He was even more disappointed that the prosecution failed to bring key witnesses who were central in the payment of the GHS51 million judgment debt to Woyome to testify as prosecution witnesses. He said the prosecution's case was "shoddy."

But in a sharp rebuttal, deputy AG, Dr Dominic Ayini described the judgment as a “travesty of justice”

Contrary to the assertions that the Attorneys did a shoddy job, Dominic Ayine said the lawyers who handled the state's case did a good job to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the charges preferred were sustainable.

Citing the no case application filed by Woyome, the Deputy Attorney General said Ajet-Nasam gave a lucid ruling which said there was a prima facie case against Woyome to which the accused person must answer to.

Managing Editor of the New Crusading Guide, Kweku Baako is reported to have questioned the judgment, saying “All the institutions of state and the people who man them appear to be
failing the country [in this Woyome scandal]. I can swear that this particular high court judgment and what the judge puts out there as the basis of his acquittal and exoneration of the accused I say, is suspect”, he said.

The AG’s department has however filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal seeking to overturn the ruling, but Justice Emile Short has cast doubt about the move, saying it is an exercise in futility.

“The appeal court will only have to rely on the evidence that was adduced from the trial so the chances of success in my view are quite remote,” he stated.

Meanwhile, some Ghanaian experts in criminal trial who spoke to this paper noted that Mr Woyome’s request for the AG’s resignation because she benefitted from the GHS51m judgment debt is likely to make nonsense of the appeal.
Mr. Farrell has engaged in private practices of law in Washington, D.C. for over 45 years, including litigation before local and federal courts along with relevant administrative and legislative representation.

He was an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center from 1978-1980.

Mr. Michael Farrell has been a member of the District of Columbia Bar, American Bar Association and Federal Bar Association. He received a B.S.B.A. from Georgetown University and a J.D. degree from the Georgetown University Law Center